MLB Rumors: 3 Potential Landing Spots For Sean Manaea

Over a 92-start stretch from 2018 through the All-Star Break in 2022, Sean Manaea was a solid mid-rotation major league starter, with a 3.76 ERA and low walk rates. But post-All-Star Break this year, something went horribly wrong. Manaea finished the season with a 7.88 ERA in August and a 5.25 ERA in September/October. 

As he hits the free agent market for the first time, he's hoping that recency bias won't enter into the equation. It shouldn't. Manaea was one of the Oakland A's most trusted starters for several years, working around a shoulder injury that wiped out most of his 2019 season. 

The A's put him on the auction block during their 2021 postseason fire sale, and the San Diego Padres bought in. The 30-year-old is projected by the experts to land a deal in the 4-year range at close to $12M per year, though that could be unrealistic after his disappointing season. Here's a look at his potential landing spots:

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles are ready to contend, and they need starting pitching. A left-hander like Manaea could fare well at Camden Yards with the new expanse in left field after the fences were pushed way back this past season. The numbers showed that the fly ball and home run numbers at Camden reached their lowest points in the past ten years. Sound like a place a southpaw could call home.

Chicago Cubs

This is a team that hopes to get back to a competitive level this season, and they have prioritized obtaining some help for the starting rotation. While the Cubs are likely unable to be able to land the elite of the free agent pitching class, Manaea is a very realistic target, and they've got the money to spend. 

Oakland A's

Ok, hear this one out: If teams are wary of the pitcher's dreadful finish to last season and Manaea's market doesn't pan out the way he hoped for a multi-year deal, it's possible that he could look to sign a one-year contract to rebuild some of his value, and return to a pitcher-friendly ballpark where he enjoyed plenty of success. And then if all goes well, perhaps a trade at the deadline to a contender, and another run at free agency next year.

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